Michael’s Pub has been in business for 21 years. Restaurants and bars being some of the most difficult businesses to keep in business, this is an impressive feat. That it isn’t a dive after that long is ever more impressive. The pub is technically in the King’s Contrivance shopping plaza. King’s Contrivance is a pretty groovy name for a town. I had to look up what “contrivance” meant. That’s only a slight digression.
I’d been to Michael’s Pub before to see a friend’s band play the open lounge and thought it worked alright as a band venue. Don’t be put off by the fact that it is in a brick-faced strip mall that’s seen better days, the interior is warm and clean. There are several difference sections: a formal (and quiet) dining room with a few dozen tables, a proper bar room with worn wooden bar and brass foot rails, as well as a more open lounge area with darts and a lot of open tables. I like the versatility and that there were plenty of rectangular tables that you could crowd more people around than a traditional square or circular table.
I had already eaten dinner, but our party ordered a fair bit of food and I got to sample some of the fare. There weren’t any complaints about the chicken Caesar wrap, generously large cheeseburger, chicken wings (in “hot” sauce, not nuclear or insane), or reuben. They make their tortilla chips fresh (thicker than the mass-produced ones) but the salsa tasted like Tostitos mild. I might be wrong. I put down an order of decent onion rings without complaint. Everything with better than edible. Better than bar food, but not quite fine dining.
They have Dos Equis (Flash) on tap. That’s a bonus. It wasn’t horribly busy. Service at the bar was top notch.
Karaoke got started just before ten. It wasn’t the typical drunk women up and dancing around while trying to carry a tune into the microphone style of karaoke. There were several guys in the mid- to late-40′s who couldn’t have carried a tune if they had Dido to help them. They were serious about singing some of the most obscure 80′s love songs. It was definitely time to leave.
I’d go to Michael’s again, try one of their dinner portions. Just not on night where there is karaoke.
8630 Guilford Rd
Columbia, MD 21046